CalMatters, the nonprofit news organization that explains California to the 39 million people who live here, seeks an experienced leader for what might be the best job anywhere: Editor-in-chief. 

We have, in seven short years, built an aggressive, impactful newsroom making this a better place to live, engaging Californians in their own governance and holding elected officials accountable. Our work changes laws, tells the stories of those whose voices aren’t being heard, wins awards and helps people. We’re 62 people strong with an $11 million budget. 

We cover a land of extremes. Beaches and ski areas operate amid a changing climate that threatens our ways of life. Billionaires thrive in Silicon Valley and Hollywood while 30% of us live in or near poverty. We grow America’s food, but one out of every 39 Californians lives without safe drinking water. Our legislature is dominated by Democrats while Trump won more votes here than in Texas in 2020.

We are the largest newsroom covering a $300 billion state government that makes critical decisions about education, healthcare, the environment, housing, the economy, criminal justice, transportation, poverty and more. It’s our job to explain major issues for a broad audience – those who make the decisions and the people they affect – with stories that hold policy makers accountable and explain the what, how and why. 

And we’re not standing still. We’re expanding our capacity for great work, with a new investigative unit, rapid expansion of audio reporting with public media stations statewide, a new California Voices section, an artificial-intelligence tool that mines data for story ideas, a growing membership program for our most engaged readers, a series of public events leading up to an ideas festival, a newly expanded California Divide team digging deeply into issues of economic inequity, and much more. 

That’s why California needs CalMatters. 

Here’s why CalMatters might need you. 

When we asked our staff what qualities would be most important in a new editor, we ended up with a powerfully short list:

  • Vision: Someone who understands and respects what we’ve accomplished and can develop a clear vision of where we go from here. 
  • Journalism: Someone with a track record of leading great journalism in a supportive, nurturing way that produces powerful, impactful stories while upholding standards of quality, helping people grow in their careers, respecting work-life balance and smartly managing performance. (The CEO threw in that last phrase.) 
  • California: Someone whose life and/or work experiences fuel a desire to cover this complex state in the ways it deserves, from hiring and leading – our team is 55% people of color but still well shy of truly representing the diversity that is California – to the ways we find sources, tell stories and reach underserved communities with our work.  

That’s it for requirements. We want to cast a wide net, meeting people with a variety of experiences and career paths.

If you’re the right candidate for this amazing opportunity, you’ll end up in a role that looks something like this: 

  • Leading a team of about 50 journalists working with words, images, audio, video, data and innovative publishing formats. We’re too big for you to edit every story and too small for you to be hands-off, so you’ll find the right cadence for working closely with your team. Under our current setup, which of course could change, the managing editor and several section and special-project editors report to the editor-in-chief while other editors report to the managing editor. 
  • Representing CalMatters in media appearances and public events.
  • Collaborating with close editorial partners such as the California Newsroom hub for public radio stations, CBS News for investigative work and some of California’s largest newspapers.
  • Partnering with the development team to create opportunities for foundations and major donors to support us, and sharing your vision for the newsroom with donors and funders, as we work to sustain and grow our nonprofit news organization. 
  • Working with our product and engagement teams to bring audiences into our work in innovative ways and deliver our journalism effectively on our platforms and across our statewide network.

The salary range for this position is $175,000 to $200,000 per year, with the possibility of higher compensation through an executive bonus program tied to annual goals.  

CalMatters offers a complete benefits package with medical, dental and vision insurance – we cover 90% of the cost for employees and 70% for dependents – from a range of HMO and PPO providers. We’ll match contributions of up to 4% of your salary to our 401(k) program, provide life insurance at no cost, and give you an allowance for personal use of your cell phone and a budget for professional development opportunities like classes and conferences.

We are an expanding and collaborative newsroom, successfully forging a new model for sustainable, intelligent, nonprofit journalism. We’re committed to reflecting the people of the state we serve and especially encourage members of underrepresented communities to apply. 

Interested? Please share your resume, a cover letter that addresses the three qualities outlined above (vision, journalism, California) and links to samples of your work that illustrate those qualities. We expect to start interviews in early February and complete this process by the end of March.


If you have trouble with this form or prefer to apply by email, write to jobs@calmatters.org with the job title in the subject line.